June 17, 2009

The Extreme Right

When abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered by pro-life activist Scott Roeder and neo-Nazi James von Brunn shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC, according to liberal pundits, such acts of right-wing violence were not just isolated incidents, but inspired and even encouraged by the broader conservative movement. Citing Bill O’Reilly, FOX News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and even the Republican Party, liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote “respectable news organizations and political figures are giving aid and comfort to dangerous extremism. (It’s) a threat to take seriously. Yes, the worst terrorist attack in our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American lunatic. Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril.”

According to liberals like Krugman, irresponsible rhetoric by conservatives is what “wound up” vicious murderers like Roeder, Brunn and even Timothy McVeigh. The extent to which conservative views influenced the minds of such men is speculative. It’s also completely irrelevant.

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